“Nothing is more timely than the establishment and operation of an observatory to provide analysis and to allow policy reforms to be based on evidence: evidence of failures and evidence of success”
Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation

About the Observatory

National and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

All GDPO material published on this website is licensed under a CC-BY

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Latest News

April – July 2019

As part of the Cannabis Innovate initiative, late April saw Martin, Dave and others associated with the project attend a workshop hosted by GDPO-Swansea University partner the Institute Scientifique, Université Mohammed-V de Rabat, Morocco. Back in Swansea in May, Dave lectured on ‘Drug Wars: From Reagan to Trump’ on PCS colleague Dr Luca Trenta’s module, Shadow Wars: US Presidents and Covert Action from the Cold War to Obama. As part of his work on the GDPO’s metrics project and as a member of a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights delegation later that month he was also in Vienna to attend a UNODC hosted meeting on the ongoing review of the Annual Report Questionnaire;...
To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here


Latest Publication
INCBC Critique Report Cover

The International Narcotics Control Board on Cannabis: A Critique of the Report 

June 2019

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the International Narcotics Control Board today finds itself operating within a UN-based inter­national drug control system facing unprecedented challenges; challenges that stem not only from a growing and increasingly complex global drug mar­ket, but also a divergence of views among member states on how best to deal with it. It is within this context that March 2019 saw the publication of the Board’s Annual Report for 2018. The Annual Report represents a key document within the UN drug control system. It plays an important role in not only providing an analysis of the ‘drug control situation world-wide and potential situations that may endanger the objectives of the international drug control treaties’, but also in setting the subsequent tone of debates and identifying areas that it feels are of concern.

Including analysis of Chapter I and other sections of the Report as appropriate, this report aims to provide a critique of the Board’s discussion of cannabis.

Read full report...

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